Three-time grade I winner Einstein drew the outside post for his 2009 debut in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I), when he attempts to add a grade I victory on dirt to his impressive record Jan. 31 at Gulfstream Park.
All eyes will be on reigning Horse of the Year Curlin as he takes aim at Cigar's all-time earnings record in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Belmont Park.
Defending Horse of the Year Curlin made his return to dirt racing in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) a successful one at Saratoga Aug. 30, but he had to work to get the job done.
Curlin has been installed as the 3-5 favorite for the 2008 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 30.
Three years after winning the Whitney Handicap (gr. I), Tracy Farmer's Commentator returns to Saratoga's richest race for handicap horses as the most accomplished of the 11 entered in the July 26 fixture.
IEAH Stables' Frost Giant gamely battled back along the rail after being passed by Solar Flare at the top of the stretch, re-rallying to post a shocking 40-1 upset win in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) June 28 at Belmont Park.
Two-time graded stakes winner A.P. Arrow will make his first start since finishing fourth to Curlin in the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), as he takes on seven intriguing rivals in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) June 28 at Belmont Park.
Nine older horses, including 5-2 morning-line favorite A.P. Arrow, have been entered for the $250,000 Pimlico Special (gr. I) May 16 at Pimlico Race Course. The 1 3/16-mile Special is contested at the same distance as the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), which will be held the following day.
As racing fans and participants from around the world gathered at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on Thursday for "Breakfast with the Stars," there was one name that seemed to be on everyone's lips: Curlin. People from Australia to Europe to South America to Asia all wanted to see the American Horse of the Year with their own eyes, to gauge how good he might really be before he races for the $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) on Saturday.
Spring At Last had only one start under his belt after winning the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) last March, and that was a Dec. 26 allowance race over the Santa Anita turf. But Doug O'Neill had no qualms about sending the Silver Deputy colt into the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I), and the trainer's faith was rewarded when his 4-year-old runner returned with a solid victory at Gulfstream Park Feb. 2.
Brass Hat, A.P. Arrow, Fairbanks, Spring At Last, Einstein all pack into talented field for the 50th running of the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 2.
The Todd Pletcher-trained A.P. Arrow survived a cavalry charge at the head of the lane and a stretch duel with Fred Bradley's Brass Hat to win the $554,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 23, bumping his career earnings past the $1-million mark.
Glencrest Farm's Panty Raid, winner of the Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) in her most recent outing, is being pointed to Churchill Downs $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) to be run Thanksgiving Day, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.
Apparently, Student Council's victory over Lava Man last month was not a fluke after all. A decisive win in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 29 proved that without a shadow of a doubt.
The Sept. 29 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) will be a true test of the consistency of Student Council, who scored a stunning upset victory over champion Lava Man in the Aug. 19 Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Sent off at odds of 9-10 by the home town crowd, Frank Calabrese's Lewis Michael did not disappoint his many backers by drawing off to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $300,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) Saturday on the Arlington Park Polytrack.
Lava Man, who can match legendary Native Diver with a third consecutive victory in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) June 30, has been assigned high weight of 124 pounds for the 1 1/4-mile classic.
Invasor, the defending Horse of the Year, heads a list of 16 nominations for Belmont Park's $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) on June 30, a race the Argentine-bred horse won in 2006.
Allen Paulson Living Trust's 5-year-old homebred A.P. Arrow may have been the 1-to-2 favorite in Saturday's $114,500 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, but the chestnut horse was all out to hold on for his first stakes victory by a head over the hard-charging Rehoboth.
Allen Paulson Living Trust's 5-year-old homebred A.P. Arrow should be a solid choice when he takes on eight challengers in the $150,000 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Saturday.
Centennial Farms' Corinthian, disqualified from victory in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) one year ago, tallied his first graded stakes win in Saturday's $350,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), holding off the relentless closer Hesanoldsalt by a neck as the even-money favorite.
Horse of the Year Invasor, all but stopped when hemmed in on the inside leaving the final turn of Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I), would not be denied victory after gathering himself under Fernando Jara and rallying to win at Gulfstream Park.
Shadwell Stable's 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor shoulders top weight of 123 pounds as the 6-to-5 morning line favorite in his long-awaited return in Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
Friday's $572,000 Clark Handicap, run for the first time as a grade I race, went to the only grade I winner in the field -- by a bunch -- when favored Premium Tap left his rivals far behind leaving the Churchill Downs' eighth pole in nearly track record time.
George Kline, Peter Alevizos and David Whelihan's Premium Tap, third to Invasor in the Breeders' Cup Classic powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, returns to the historic Louisville track on Friday in search of a season-ending grade I victory when he faces 10 rivals in the 132nd running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap presented by Norton Healthcare.
Gary Tanaka's overlooked Eccentric slipped through along the inside to overtake Ball Four in the final furlong to win the $150,000 Fayette (gr. III) on Polytrack by three quarters of a length on closing day of the Keeneland fall meet Saturday.
A.P. Arrow faces a near capacity field of 12 rivals in Saturday's $150,000 Fayette (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on closing day of Keenland's fall meet.
Trainer Rebecca Maker had a tough choice but she made the right call Saturday when It's No Joke captured the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) by one length over the 13-10 choice A.P. Arrow.
The first two finishers of last month's Longacres Mile (gr. III) head a wide open field of seven older handicap horses entered in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) to be contested over ten furlongs at Hawthorne Race on Saturday.
Grade I winners Perfect Drift and Total Impact will face rising star Suave and a strong group of 3-year-olds in Friday's 131st running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Lord of the Game, a $10,000 claim who has gone on to become a grade II winner and bankroll nearly $540,000, worked Thursday morning over a fast track at Hawthorne Racecourse under jockey Eusebio Razo, as he prepares for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. II).
Owner Greg Norman and trainer Salvador Gonzalez figured they had the speed edge heading into the 1 1/4-mile Super Derby (gr. II). That advantage was the difference as The Daddy held off A.P. Arrow in the $750,000 test for 3-year-olds at Louisiana Downs Saturday.
Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Roman Ruler and Flower Alley, winner of the Jim Dandy (gr. II) at Saratoga earlier this meet, head a list of 16 nominations for the $1 million Travers (gr. I) Aug. 27.
B. Wayne Hughes' Don't Get Mad, winner of the Derby Trial and Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III), tuned up for the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) with a mile work Friday in 1:41 at Santa Anita.
Preakness (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex, the favorite for Saturday's Belmont Stakes, settled into his new barn without a problem. John Shirreffs, the affable trainer of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo, seemed nice and relaxed just one day before the rubber match at 1 1/2 miles.
Cash is King Stable's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex was installed the 6-5 morning-line favorite when 11 horses were entered for Saturday's $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the third leg of the Visa Triple Crown.
Of the 136 past winners of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), an even 12 have gone on to sire a Belmont winner (or winners) while at stud. In the 137th edition to be run this Saturday, 1992 winner A.P. Indy could make it an uneven 13 with two sons entered, and Thunder Gulch, sire of 2001 winner Point Given, could have a second son gain Belmont glory.
With less than a week until the 137th Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the mile and a half race looks like this: Preakness (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo, and the rest of them.
Ken Ramsey, in an effort to gain stature for the stallion Catienus, will run his son Nolan's Cat in the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), even though the colt is still a maiden after five starts.
The field for the 137th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 11 continues taking shape.
Although the race is still three weeks away and the picture could change, the 137th renewal of the Belmont Stakes June 11 could serve as a rubber match between longshot Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo and the courageous Preakness (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex.
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